Harsh is a young boy studying in class I, in a city in India. There have been many changes that Harsh has seen when it comes to choosing his toys. Whenever he goes to the jazzy lit malls in his city with his Mama or Papa he is generally directed to the toys section by the shop assistants. And there are good number of toys almost clearly demarcated for young boys and little girls.
One such evening, Harsh’s mom wanted to pick a toy for his classmate’s birthday which was scheduled for the coming Saturday evening at her residence. Harsh was quite excited to look at the toys and wondered if he would be ridiculed for holding a Barbie doll. As soon as he picked one toy on kitchen utilities, the shop assistant rushed to harsh and showed him to look for the cars and puzzles. ” I have those already, I just wanted to see if I can take home a Barbie doll or a kitchen toy tonight.”
The assistant’s smile was not encouraging, yet Harsh took the toy to his mom who was going through some labelled ‘girlie’ toys. ” Mama, Purvi likes to play with cars and bikes. Maybe you should pick that for her if possible ” said Harsh to his mom. When his mom looked at Harsh with a kitchen toy, she smiled and said ” We are here to buy for Purvi. I can get you what you want next month.” Is that fine with you?”.
Harsh wanted an optimistic answer, ” Even a barbie doll or kitchen toy is fine with you?” asked Harsh. ” Yes of course, cooking is a life-skill dear not just to be learnt by girls. Big boys ought to know cooking if they want to be independent in life. And you can take this toy next month.”
“But Barbie” said Harsh.
” It is not a problem.” But can I ask you why do you want a Barbie doll asked his mom.
” I just like her just as I like Ben 10.”
“Yes of course, dear,” said his mom making harsh feel it was perfect for him to choose toys that he wanted than what was labelled around.
Finally his mom picked a small car for Purvi and Harsh went back to the shop assistant with his mom to say that they are coming back to pick the kitchen toy and the Barbie doll for him next month.
Story for 5-7 years old.
BY RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA